Diner has “The Smells”

January 19, 2012

in Server Stories

My wife (I’ll call her “Karla”) told me about an odd dining experience she had the other night. After hearing it, I thought that Dinners From Hell would be a good site to share it with.

Karla and her 98-year-old mother dined at a well-known Italian-themed U.S. chain restaurant. As they were about to get up from the table after paying the check with an 18% tip, the waiter, who was attending to the adjacent table, came up and leaned towards Karla’s mother and half-whispered matter-of-factly, “I see you have the smells.” 

Karla was taken aback and said, “What did you say?”

The server turned back to mom and replied, this time more loudly so that both Karla and her mother (and others nearby) could clearly hear him, “I see you have the smells.”

Mom, who appeared somewhat bewildered by the comment, sheepishly said, “Well, I did have some cabbage with my meal.”

Karla at this point knew full well that the server was stating that her mother had passed gas. Stunned and embarrassed, Karla grabbed her mom’s hand and made a quick exit.

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

@MedReigns January 20, 2012 at 3:22 pm

wow you gotta be kidding me!!! what an asshole!!

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Serving An Attitude January 21, 2012 at 1:31 am

Uh, that is not just rude… it is perhaps one of the most unprofessional thing i have heard of a server actually doing to a guest. I wouldn't do that to a jackass who had stiffed me, let alone an elderly lady whos table had left a good one! If you had complained to a manager, he would have been out on his ass! I hope you at least took the tip back!

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Brenda January 21, 2012 at 1:38 pm

The only Italian themed chain restaurant that I can think of that serves cabbage is Carrabbas (in their minnestrone soup). Was that where you went?

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Push The Fish January 22, 2012 at 12:05 am

It's amazing to me how someone can be SO insensitive to other people's feelings. I just don't understand what makes someone become so calloused. Poor little old lady. 🙁

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Original Poster January 22, 2012 at 1:06 am

From what I understand, the server wasn't trying to be mean. He apparently doesn't have much in the way of social skills. Regarding the restaurant's name, I'm not going to reveal that as I don't want what I think is a decent restaurant to be tainted by the actions of a single staff person.

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Jody January 23, 2012 at 9:53 am

It's definitely worth a comment to the manager. It's not too late — e-mail or write and give as many details as you can remember (date, time, server name). Explain that you were so flustered/taken back at the time that you didn't report it immediately. I've done that in the past, and found that I can write a much more calm and concise letter later (plus, I wasn't asking for any compensation).

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Caveman January 28, 2012 at 7:16 pm

What a dick! They should definitely bring this to the attention of the owners of the restaurant.

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Kara March 20, 2012 at 3:06 am

There’s no excuse for it…even somebody who has “poor social skills” should have better sense than that. It was totally unprofessional and rude of him. Recently I made some mistakes while I was out and about…since I don’t get out much and just don’t communicate with people outside my own family much (not counting online of course)….I do have the rare moment where I fail to react correctly or in time with people who are saying hello or whatever. Both times family members got on my case about it. *big annoyed sigh* One time I took a while to shake a person’s hand and my brother made a big deal about it to me later and the more recent time it was my father who brought it up. I may make mistakes sometimes and I don’t have a job, but even I know better than to say “You’ve got the smells” to somebody. I _might_ say it to somebody I didn’t like but somebody who was minding their own business or was nice to me? Nope. And if I had a job I wouldn’t say it.

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